Octopus escape a reflection of the human spirit

Inky's escape is allegorical of the restlessness of the human spirit. Like Inky, we are not satisfied with the place we inhabit

Octopus escape a reflection of the human spiritThere are some amazing stories of pets finding their way home after long absences. But an octopus? Octopi are intelligent, curious creatures. They are so intelligent that aquarium keepers use an enrichment manual to help ward off boredom for octopi in captivity. Aquarium octopi have toys like Mr. Potato Head and Lego, and some can…

Thoughts while running in a cemetery

The commentary in my head was curiously uplifting despite its morbid subject

Thoughts while running in a cemeteryIt was a crisp, sunny morning for a run along Toronto’s Kay Gardner Beltline Trail. Having spent the previous day travelling, I was anxious to get moving. I turned on my tunes, hit the timer on my watch and quickly fell into a comfortable rhythm. I was relishing the beauty of the changing season. The…

Manage your customers and your business will thrive

If an entrepreneur wants to manage their business and increase their profits, they need to focus on three types of customers

Manage your customers and your business will thriveA few years ago I was talking to a clergyman who was struggling with declining church attendance. We had a discussion about the reasons for that and I was telling him that there was not much difference between a church and a business. To overcome his skepticism of my argument, I put it to him…

The unexpected gifts of a staycation

The staycation renewed my appreciation for the familiar and nurtured a more generous heart

The unexpected gifts of a staycationWhen I was a kid, a typical back to school assignment was  writing about our summer vacations. I never much liked the topic. My summers, with a few notable exceptions, were pretty much indistinguishable from each other. I had nothing much to write about, or so I thought. At the time, I did not realize…

Push back against China’s pro-communist Bible

Chinese President Xi Jinping has concocted a devious plan to revise the Bible to make it more in line with his country’s totalitarian ideology

Push back against China’s pro-communist BibleImagine this hypothetical scenario: A world leader decides they’re going to arbitrarily change the text of an historically important religious document to suit their needs. Some people might complain about this decision in private, but the world leader is far too powerful to either publicly criticize or condemn. So these changes are made in short order…

The Stuarts, a dynasty brought down by religion

In addition to displaying the Stuart propensity for absolutism, James II publicly converted to Catholicism. The die was cast

The Stuarts, a dynasty brought down by religionOf the world’s failed causes, one of the most enduring is the romantic tale of the House of Stuart. Who hasn’t heard of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his tragic-heroic attempt to recover the three crowns lost by his grandfather? Let’s back up a bit. The Stuarts were originally French, having crossed over from Brittany in…

Sorry is more than just a word: show that you mean it

Contrition that’s merely on the lips changes nothing in the heart or, for that matter, around the waistline, within the workplace, inside troubled relationships

Sorry is more than just a word: show that you mean itIt’s traditional to head into a new year full of resolve fuelled by last year’s regret. Our commitment to renewed discipline, diets and dream-achieving over the coming 12 months is all too often driven by short-term overindulgence during Christmas festivities. More importantly, there’s a lingering sense of another year lost by not doing what we…

Why Christmas matters in a secular society

Its message of goodwill towards all people is ultimately in the best interest of a multicultural society

Why Christmas matters in a secular societyWe go to extremes to avoid the religious aspects of Christmas in the public sphere, and we are worse for it. Christian beliefs about Christmas might offend someone in our secular and multicultural society, so we ignore its religious and historical background. The reluctance to mention the origins of this much-loved holiday permeates early childhood…

Bah, humbug to the war on Christmas

In the interests of diversity and inclusion, society shies away from Christian manifestations of Christmas

Bah, humbug to the war on ChristmasIn the interests of diversity and inclusion, society shies away from Christian manifestations of Christmas. Battles loom over nativity displays, the traditional “Merry Christmas” greeting and Christmas trees. Public schools banned carols from school concerts years ago. There is, some argue, a war on Christmas. While some seek to eliminate anything that remotely resembles religious…

Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lights

Across traditions and time, there has been a longing for light to brighten the darkness of winter

Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lightsI had a striking visual of light in darkness early one morning this week. A bright light, probably the planet Venus, shone with extraordinary clarity and pierced an otherwise black sky. Given my Christian faith and the time of year – less than a month until Christmas – my thoughts turned to the legendary Star of…

A respectful Canada has room for disagreement

Closing politics and public life to those who are religious leaves us with a less tolerant society that brings fundamental freedoms into question

A respectful Canada has room for disagreementDisagreement is normal, if not necessary, in a healthy democracy. Being intolerant and disrespectful toward those with whom we disagree, however, is fatal to that democracy. Historically, Canadians have had the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (and the Bill of Rights before it) for protection. That’s especially important for racial, religious, political or sexual minorities,…

Religion should have a place in the political realm

It would be a gross violation of religious freedom if we allowed beliefs to become a test for fitness for office. Yet Andrew Scheer faced a barrage of criticism

Religion should have a place in the political realmCanada’s public square is an increasingly closed space, at least for voices of faith. This is dangerous – and not just for the faithful. The 2019 federal election campaign and its aftermath make clear that there are new boundaries to what can and can’t be said publicly. Moreover, the boundaries now cover what can and…

Which inner wolf will you feed – good or evil?

Amazing people are all around us. In fact, they live within each of us. We simply need to pay attention to them

Which inner wolf will you feed – good or evil?Not long ago in my Social Justice 12 class, we were discussing a particular genocide when one of my students drew our attention to the Cherokee legend of The Tale of the Two Wolves. In this story, a child who was wronged comes to his grandfather for advice. The elder tells him that in every…

Learn to follow your conscience to find faith and love

As religions evolve, they take on social aspects, developing rules and regulations. At their worst, they become a means of social control

Learn to follow your conscience to find faith and loveIt seems that nothing in the world has caused more war and destruction than religion, yet many of the greatest leaders embraced spirituality as a central source of their strength. How do we come to understand this apparent dichotomy? Perhaps the issue is that people have created religion to understand the deeper spiritual nature of…

Halloween rekindles the child in all of us

There’s nothing inherently evil about the celebration of Halloween in our time

Halloween rekindles the child in all of usIs there any harm in participating in the annual celebration of Halloween? Some think so. I first encountered the opinion that Halloween may be spiritually dangerous when my children were young. I was surprised when a friend announced that her children would not be dressing up and trick-or-treating. She objected to the pagan roots of…
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